It was their worst Premier League loss in 17 years, a defeat that left manager André Villas-Boas pulling no punches after his Tottenham team lost 6-0 at Manchester City on Sunday. Prompting the club to take to Twitter to apologize to fans, Spurs conceded after 13 seconds at the Etihad, with three goals on each side of halftime leaving Villas-Boas searching for explanations post-match.
“Every attack was a goal-scoring opportunity for them, we weren’t at our best and we have to be ashamed of ourselves after this,” Villas-Boas told the assembled media in Manchester. “I don’t need to point out individuals, but to lose 6-0 is extremely embarrassing for anyone involved in that.”
It was shocking performance from a team which had held Premier League opponents to nine goals in 11 games, one that will force the Spurs boss to question the quality of a previously lauded defense.
“It is difficult to explain,” Villas-Boas said. “Everything went wrong for us from being one of the best defences in the country to conceding six goals, it is very hard to find an explanation. Our game plan and motivation was immediately affected by conceding after 14 seconds.”
When the dust settles, what may be as troublesome as the defense to Spurs fans is the continued ineptitude of the team’s attack. Spurs have now been shutout in four of their last six games and will carry a 280-minute scoreless streak into next Sunday’s game at Manchester United. They’ve only scored nine goals all season.
“We never had a proper chance to score, we have to look into it more in-depth, not that we haven’t looked already,” Villas-Boas conceded. “Sometimes it is because of the opponents, sometimes we don’t do enough. It’s a reality we have to face right now and we have to correct it.”
In a Premier League with a top third that’s more competitive than many expected, Spurs may have to adjust soon if they’re to keep up. Originally expected to compete for Champions League, Tottenham find themselves in ninth after 12 rounds, with strong starts from Liverpool, Everton, and Southampton making competition for Europa League spots (let alone the league’s fourth Champions League berth) more intense than anticipated.
“It is the worst defeat for all of us involved in Tottenham because we have high expectations … It is a bad moment for everybody. We can only look into ourselves and make sure we can go forward.”